for Underground Railroad exhibit
will host exhibit in fall of 2009
(April 2008) The year 2009 will mark many
exciting events, including the Madison Bicentennial celebration and
a new exhibit at the Hanover College Duggan Library about the Underground
Railroad, an important period in the regions history.
The Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County has pledged
$13,000 for the exhibit in Duggan Library. The exhibit will take place
in fall 2009. It will also coincide with some of the events for the
Madison Bicentennial celebration.
Its great that they got that, Jae Breitweiser,
CEO of Historic Eleutherian College, said about the library receiving
the grant for the upcoming exhibit. The Underground Railroad needs
to be taught at every angle and at every level.
Much of the money from the grant will be geared toward bringing children
on campus to see the exhibit, Doug Denne, archivist at the library,
The Underground Railroad has a special place in local history. There
are several Southeast Indiana Trails to Freedom driving tours that pass
through Hanover College and Historic Eleuther-ian College in Lancaster,
Jefferson County really played a huge role in the Underground
Rail-road, Breitweiser said. Its very rewarding to
discover and look things up.
Eleutherian College was also an important part of the Underground Railroad,
especially when it was founded in 1848 as an educational facility for
all races and genders.
Were proud of what people did in Lancaster, Breitweiser
said. There wouldnt be educational opportunities for African-Americans.
One of the most interesting things about the Underground Railroad is
the mystery surrounding the operation, Denne said.
This was such a secretive thing, he said. People didnt
want a paper trail leading to their front door.
Breitweiser agreed about the extreme secrecy of the Underground Railroad,
adding that it was often difficult to trace its history.
The whole Underground Railroad history had to be kept secret for
so many years, Breitweiser said. People didnt want
to be endangered for giving help.
The exhibit at Hanover College is in its early planning stages, so there
is not yet a finalized list of events or exhibition items. At this point,
Hanover College has a collection of diaries and correspondence from
John Finley Crowe. Crowe, the founder of Hanover College in 1827, was
also a stalwart abolitionist.
The Duggan Library also has two other valuable resources, Breitweiser
said. These items include microfilm collections of The Liberator
and The Philanthropist anti-slavery newspapers from the
Other features of the upcoming exhibit could include speakers, re-enactments
of various historical figures, dinners, Hanover College faculty lectures
Although the exhibit will be hosted by the Hanover College Duggan Library,
the events and exhibits are geared toward the surrounding community,
Were opening our doors to the community and making it clear
that these resources are for their use.
For more information about the upcoming
Underground Railroad exhibit, call Doug Denne at the Hanover College
Duggan Library at (812) 866-7182. For more information about the Historic
Eleutherian College, visit: www.eleutherian.us.
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